We need at least 10 vaccines for pandemic to be under control - EWN reporter
If US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its German counterpart BioNTech get their way, a COVID-19 vaccine they have developed could be rolled out within weeks. But not necessarily to South Africa. Experts say realistically we can only get the vaccine in the middle part of 2020.
Another pharmaceutical company, Moderna, whose vaccine development was funded by the US government, and Dolly Parton, also reported impressive results. South Africa is already involved in four other human trials.
Eyewitness News reporter Mia Lindeque sat down with two of the country's top scientists to get a better idea of what these developments around the vaccines mean for us here in South Africa.
We are pretty much last in the queue. The US and UK are set to get the first batches when these vaccines are cleared. But the question is: Where does this the rest of the world, the countries which do not have rich economies?Mia Lindeque, Reporter - EWN
Through the World Health Organisation there is a facility established called COVAX. More than 180 countries are part of it and South Africa is supporting it although we haven't made our first contribution to this.Mia Lindeque, Reporter - EWN
This facility helps to ensure that if a vaccine is proven safe and effective it will be distributed through COVAX, which will ensure that the countries get some amount of dosages at the same time. For instance, for the first batch, we are looking at all the countries vaccinating about 3% of their population, then the second round 10%, then 20%, and so forth.Mia Lindeque, Reporter - EWN
Experts are saying it's one thing for the rich countries to say they're buying all the vaccines because they can. It won't protect the entire population against the virus, we know that that's how the pandemic started in the first place, being transported across the borders. We need at least 10 effective vaccines for this pandemic to be under control. We also know that [President] Cyril Ramaphosa said earlier this month that if there is a vaccine and South Africa can get hands on it, it might be able to start manufacturing in the Eastern Cape, which is gonna put South Africa in a place we can start negotiating for the first batch. But there are a number of issues. Currently, we don't have a plan for adults to be vaccinated, it's only a plan for children.Mia Lindeque, Reporter - EWN
There are so many questioning terms of how are we gonna transport this vaccine. Where are we gonna store it? The government says they are going to fast-track, they didn't anticipate these vaccines develop so quickly. But how long before South Africa can have its hands on some of these vaccines? When can we expect it?Mia Lindeque, Reporter - EWN
Listen below for the full interview...
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